City to Consider Speed Limit Changes Along Some Major Streets & Roads

Published 07/06 2014 02:55PM

Updated 07/06 2014 03:02PM

LUBBOCK, TX -- The Lubbock City Council will consider the second and final reading for a number of speed limit changes.  Under the proposal, 98th Street between Frankford Avenue and Milwaukee Avenue will change from 45 to 50 miles per hour.  A traffic study showed average speeds of 52 and 53 mph along that stretch of 98th. 

Public records said, “Milwaukee Avenue from 93rd Street to 114th Street was reconstructed from a two-lane strip paving to a seven lane thoroughfare.”  If approved, the speed limit will change from 45 to 50 mph. 

If approved, Parkway Drive from the east limits of Marsha Sharp Freeway to Oak Street will increase from 45 to 55 miles per hour.
“A lot of times traffic engineers will go out and find out the average traffic speed is already 10 miles over the current traffic limit,” said Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson.  “And that actually is creating more of a hazard if you don't change it.”

“Traffic patterns change,” Robertson said.  “We might be seeing more traffic, and therefore we need to reduce the speed.”

Other areas were considered for a possible speed limit change, but the city staff recommends leaving them unchanged.  For example, North Slide Road from Marshall Street to Clovis road has been posted for 50 mph.  A speed study indicated it should remain 50.

Robertson said, “Typically they come in on the long list of speed changes.  What I do is look at the list and if nothing jumps out at me, I don't take issue with it unless I start getting calls from citizens saying, ‘Whoa, wait a minute. We got some problems.’  At that point I think you'll see a healthy discussion.”
Here is the information summary provided to the Lubbock City Council

Agenda Item

Ordinance Amendment 2nd Reading - Public Works Traffic Engineering: Consider an Ordinance 2014-O0096 amending Section 20.05.102 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Lubbock, with regard to the establishment of speed limits.

Item Summary

On June 26, 2014, the City Council approved the first reading of the ordinance.

The ordinance amendment changes the speed limits along several City and On-System State roads. On 98th Street between Frankford Avenue and Milwaukee Avenue a new three-lane roadway was constructed as part of the Gateway Streets Projects. The new road consists of one eastbound lane, one westbound lane and a center two-way left turn lane. Speed study results showed that the 85 percentile speed was 53 miles per hour (MPH) for eastbound traffic and 52 MPH for westbound traffic. The proposed speed limit will increase from 45 MPH to 50 MPH. Because the portion of 98th Street, west of Milwaukee Avenue, is unpaved, it will designate as 30 MPH instead of 40 MPH.

Also, part of Gateway Streets Projects, Milwaukee Avenue from 93rd Street to 114th Street was reconstructed from a two lane strip paving to a seven lane thoroughfare with curb and gutter. City staff conducted a speed study which resulted in an 85 percentile speed of 54 MPH. Staff recommends increasing the ordinance speed from 45 MPH to 50 MPH.

Construction of North Slide Road from Marshall Street to Clovis Road (US 84) was completed to a four lane divided highway. The design speed of the roadway is 50 MPH. City staff performed a speed study which was inconclusive because of low traffic volumes on the road. City staff posted signs along the roadway at 50 MPH and recommends that the ordinance reflect the posted, design speed.

A speed study was conducted along Avenue A from Marsha Sharp Freeway (MSF) to 50th Street. Previously the corridor was an On-System State road and designated as US 87 Business. With the change from a State-maintained roadway to a City-maintained roadway, as well as the traffic routing changes after MSF was completed, City staff identified Avenue A for a speed study. The current speed limits along Avenue A are 35 to 50 MPH. The tabulated 85%-tile speed ranged from 41 to 46 MPH for northbound and southbound traffic. Because of the number of access points along Avenue A, the percentage of truck traffic and the traffic signals along the corridor, staff recommends 40 MPH from MSF to 51st Street. There are only "Travel Direction" and "Speed Limit Description" changes for Avenue A from 51st Street to I-27.

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) conducted a speed study on Parkway Drive from I-27 to Loop 289. The 85 percentile speed showed that only the portion of Parkway Drive from the east limits of MSF, at the Parkway Drive Bridge, to Oak Street will increase from 45 MPH to 55 MPH.

TxDOT posts and maintains speed limit signs on State roads. Several roadways require an update in this ordinance amendment to match the posted speed limit signs. US 87 main lanes from 98th Street to a half mile north of 114th Street is posted at 75 MPH; therefore, the ordinance will be updated for that portion of US 87. This segment of US 87 lies within the City limits. Spur 327 main lanes and frontage roads from West Loop 289 to MSF are posted 50 to 60 MPH. The ordinance reflects the "Speed Limit Description" where signs are posted. Various speed limit descriptions and posted speeds are documented for review in the attachment.

Fiscal Impact

Staff/Board Recommending
R. Keith Smith, P.E., Director of Public Works

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